The name of Funchal derives from Foeniculum vulgare plant, the fennel plant. Reports at the time indicated that upon disembarking on the island, the first sight was a dense grove valley and an abundance of fennel plants essential in food and traditional desserts.
Despite the abundance of fennel it was the sugar that provided the development of a sustainable economy in the city of Funchal and throughout the island. The Madeira Wine succeeded the sugar, becoming one of the symbols of the region nowadays. Sugar and wine production in Funchal become indispensable to the local economy and their icons were embedded in the coat of arms of the city.
Funchal was one of the first captaincies of Madeira, with the first appointed captain João Gonçalves Zarco – one of the main navigators who discovered the archipelago – who in 1425, settled in the city with his family.
The development of Funchal allowed the city to quickly evolve from autonomous parishes to a village and later to a municipality, being elevated to city in 1508. In 1835, due to the growth and degree of prosperity of the city, Funchal developed to the limits it has now and it is limited by the Santana municipalities, Câmara de Lobos and Machico.
The city has become a key trade point in the center of the Atlantic, allowing trade, culture and experiences exchanges. Funchal is unique for its diversity, from the sea to the mountains, from the fruits to the flowers and from the embroidery to the wicker toboggans, all influenced by its tropical climate, which allows unique productions and activities.
Text source: Visit Funchal